New York Commemorated Oldest Woman with Street Sign

BY: AMANDA MOSES

On May 1st, a street sign was erected on Vandalia Avenue in honor of New York’s oldest woman, Susannah Mushatt Jones, who passed away in her sleep on May 12th, 2016.

Born on July 6, 1899 in Lowndess County, Alabama, Jones was often celebrated, admired and even envied for her longevity. But for Jones, being 116 years old was unbelievable. She often told family that she couldn’t be the oldest person alive—the world is just too big to give her that title.

She was just two months shy of her 117th birthday when she passed away in 2016. Her reign as the world’s oldest person was a title bestowed upon her in 2015 by the Guinness Book of World Records—a bittersweet title she bared humbly.

Jones was blind, partially deaf and wheelchair bound, but her physical limitations never stopped her from being a strong willed woman—a role model in her community.

Since Jones earned herself the title of community icon within both the Vandalia Senior Center, where she was an active member, and throughout New York City, officials wanted to pay homage to her by naming Vandalia Avenue the Susannah Mushatt Jones Avenue.

As her friends and admirers leave Vandalia Senior Center, they will look at her street sign and forever remember Jones, also nicknamed “Miss Susie.” 

Photo by Frankie Rodriguez